Responsible business starts with our colleagues. We need to build a culture in which they’re empowered, inspired and incentivised to do the right thing for customers. We also need to train colleagues so they know what ‘the right thing’ is. It’s not something we can achieve overnight, but we’ve already come a long way.

We’re taking steps to integrate responsible business into every aspect of every colleague’s working life with our Group; in their recruitment and induction, professional development, performance management and review, reward and remuneration. We’re also simplifying and joining up many of our initiatives to embed responsible business. Why? Because asking busy colleagues to focus on making just a few influential changes to their work style is the best way to engage them in changing our Group’s culture for better.

In 2011, we put in place our three Group Values – putting customers first, keeping it simple, making a difference together – to inspire and guide us on our responsible business journey and support our ambition to become the best bank for customers. In 2012, we launched our Code of Business Responsibility and Code of Personal Responsibility, setting out behaviours consistent with our Group Values. Since then, we’ve worked hard to embed the Values and Codes across our Group. We’ve included the requirement to complete training on the Codes of Responsibility as mandatory for all colleagues, so everyone has the opportunity to understand how these standards apply to them in their own roles.

We’ve also developed our Supplier Code of Responsibility, setting out the responsible business standards we require from our suppliers. We’ll be rolling this out in 2015.

To help colleagues understand what’s expected of them, and empower them to be the best they can be, we’ve introduced a number of specific tools. These include our behavioural frameworks; the Leadership Identity we launched in 2013 and the Colleague Identity launched in 2014. Both provide more detail about how to work in line with our Codes, by giving colleagues across the Group greater clarity about the behaviours that support them.

Reinforcing our culture

With help from an external partner, McKinsey, we used the outputs of our Best Bank for Customers survey to assess the Group’s organisational health. This work confirmed that although we’re in the top quartile for organisational health compared with many peer businesses, there are a number of ways in which we can improve.

A key challenge is that more colleagues who completed the survey believe the Group is ‘Changing for the better for customers’ than believe it is ‘Changing for the better for colleagues’, although this gap has reduced significantly (by 10 points) between the 2014 Pulse Survey and Colleague Survey. We are responding swiftly to this issue by including a colleague and culture element in our new three-year Group Strategic Review, under the theme of ‘Building the Best Team’. This will become the focus for our work on culture in 2015, with a priority placed on building colleagues’ sense of pride in their personal contributions to the Group.